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Kate on Cars - Dec 2013: How To Replace Your Own Windshield Wipers

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Kate on Cars - Dec 2013:
How To Replace Your Own Windshield Wipers

by Kate Jonasse

Quick correction to last month's article:  Hybrids are included in the 3.9% market share that electric drive vehicles currently have in the US, for vehicles sold so far in 2013.

How to replace your own wiper blades:

  1. Hint to significant other that the wipers on your vehicle need to be replaced and you'd like his or her assistance.  Significant other tells you they are busy watching 49ers football game and that you're on your own.
  2. Find out the year, make, model and engine size of your vehicle so you can be sure to get the right wipers.
  3. Go to the parts store and tell them you want to purchase new wipers for your vehicle (using the year, make, model and engine size) OR use the self-service catalog at the parts store to look them up yourself.
  4. Purchase the wipers and take them home, so you can replace them in the privacy of your own driveway.
  5. Take the wipers out of the box and compare them to the ones already on your vehicle.
  6. Find that they are not the same size as the ones on your vehicle.  Return wipers to part store and get right ones.
  7. Go back home and take wipers out of the box.  
  8. Locate little black plastic clippy things that are in wiper box along with wipers.  Look at them quizzically as you wonder where they go.  
  9. Read the instructions on the box several times.  Instructions will make no sense to you.  Wonder if the little plastic clippy things even go to your vehicle.  Set the little clippy things aside.
  10. Lift up wiper arms to take off old wipers.  Lift up clip to release wiper from driver's side arm, and slide wiper towards you to free it from the arm.  Repeat on passenger side by sliding arm towards center of vehicle to release it.
  11. Accidentally allow spring-loaded metal arm to slam arm down into windshield, cracking windshield.  Curse at wiper arm.  
  12. Slide new wipers onto arms, and snap clips into place to secure wiper to arm.
  13. Operate wipers to test their function.  Find out that one of the wipers is flopping around since clip didn't snap into place properly.  Turn wipers off and reclip the loose wiper.
  14. While reclipping loose wiper, arms start to move since you didn't actually turn the wipers off like you thought you did, you set them to intermittent.  Now not only is windshield cracked, but it has a large sweeping scratch in it from the bare arm scraping the glass.
  15. Curse entire car.
  16. Turn wipers completely off, and take key out of ignition.  
  17. Reinstall wipers and make sure they are clipped.
  18. Turn wipers on, hit washer button to make washer fluid spray the windshield to test wipers.
  19. When washer fails to spray water, realize that washer bottle is empty.  Refill washer bottle and retest wipers and washers.
  20. File insurance claim to get windshield replaced.
  21. Repeat every 6 months, with or without damaging windshield.  Substitute significant other watching baseball game for football game as necessary,

Happy Holidays!  Drive safely this winter, and email me if you want help installing new wipers.  :)